Reeves, William ( c1710 ?? - fl 1753 NC)

Reeves, William

Reeves, William Jr.


Father: William Reeves
Mother: Unknown

Birth: c1710, location unknown
Birth Source: Witnessed Bertie County NC deed from Ralph Mason to William Reeves 1728/291. Deeds of Edgecombe County - married adult in land transactions circa 1738.

Death: after 1758, probably Dobbs County, North Carolina
Death Source:

Spouse1: Hardy (maiden name probably Merritt)


William Reeves, Jr. along with his wife, Hardy, is found in the deed records of Edgecombe County from around 1728 until 28 Jun 1758 when he is last mentioned in a deed from Samuel Hardy to Thomas Jackson, both of Edgecombe (Halifax) County, land adjoining William Reeves and Persimmon Tree Creek.

William Reeves, Jr. and Hardy his wife of Edgecombe County to Mary Merritt (county not identified). For 12 pounds sterling money of England, 220 acres more or less in the fork of Chockeyott creek joining John Muston, the Spring meadow and the Wolf Trap branch, including all houses, orchards, gardens.
Wits.: Robert Harris, Richard Cuerton (sic Cureton), Nathaniel Merritt (X his mark). Registered: Robert Forster C. Ct. Edgecombe County NC DB 5, p. 19, 23 Sept 1741

William Reeves, Jr. was referenced in a deed from John and Elizabeth Hardy of Edgecombe County to John Mozingo, late of Virginia, land on the Great Creek, part of a patent originally issued to William Reeves, Jr. on July 9, 1738; William Green and Hugh Hardy witnessed, July 18, 1744.

On March 8, 1748, William Reves and Hardy his wife of Edgecombe County sold 480 acres to William Green, Jr., a place called Jenneto Meadow, adjoining John Rainwater (part of 640 acres originally granted to Joseph Crenshaw and by him conveyed to William Reves on August 4, 1742).

William Rieves of Edgecombe County sold 522 acres to Malachi Reeves of Granville County on the north side of Fishing Creek. Witnesses were Jacob Perry and James Perry, May 29, 1753.

William appears to be the same William Reeves who appears in Duplin County, North Carolina on 28 Feb 1757 when he witnessed the deed from Richard Odom to Nicholas Major found in Deed Book 2 at pages 398-399. this is the same area where individuals who are likely siblings of Hardy Merritt settled after leaving Edgecombe County. There are other deeds found in the Duplin records for William Reeves who appears to have had property on the Running Jump or Run and Jump watercourse on the northeast side of the Cape Fear River. The last appearance in the Duplin records found for William Reeves is as a witness to a 1771 deed by Andrew Bass who was frequently associated with this William Reeves in Edgecombe and Dobbs counties.

In an Edgecombe County (Halifax) deed from Samuel Hardy to Thomas Jackson dated 28 Jun 1758 from Deed Book 6 at page 335, recorded in September Court 1758, the metes and bounds reference William Reeves' line along with that of Ralph Hedgepath and Philimon Bradford in the area of Persimmon Creek.

Research Notes

Hardy, wife of William Reeves, Jr. in early deeds of Chowan and Edgecombe Counties, has always been a mystery; however, recently information has been discovered which suggests the possibility that Hardy may have been the daughter "Hardy" named in the 1718 Chowan County will of Charles Merritt, Sr. Hardy was not married at the time the will was written and it is assumed she was still underage.
Abstract from North Carolina Will of Charles Merritt:
Chowan County, North Carolina, 6th April 1718 - 21 October 1718, wife (unnamed), sons - Charles, Nathaniel and John, - daughters - Ann, Sarah, and Hardy. Witnesses: James Bryant and Peter Evans, Clerk of courts: R. Hicks

This Reeves' family lived in the same areas of Chowan and Edgecombe Counties where Charles Merritt and family were found, in fact William Reeves, Jr. purchased property next to Hardy's older brother Nathaniel Merritt and was involved in other deeds with the Merritt family. More research to follow but it appears that there is much documentation to support a close connection between William Reeves, Jr., Hardy Merritt and her family.

This William Reeves has been previously believed to be the same William Reeves who died in York County, South Carolina in 1821; however, it is unrealistic to conclude that based upon current documentation. The William Reeves who died in South Carolina in 1821 would have been well past 100 years old if that were the case. It is far more likely that a generation has been missed and the William Reeves with wife Elizabeth who died in York, South Carolina was the son or nephew of William Reeves, Jr., born circa 1710.

A thorough search of the extant Granville County tax lists found only one William Reeves who was the tithe of Malachi Reeves in 1755 and presumably his son.

The results of DNA testing for two recent participants in the Reeves DNA Project who descend from William Reaves who died in Wayne County, North Carolina in 1793 have revealed that they are DNA Group 3 and appear to be descended from William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751.

William Reeves, Jr. is last found in the records of Granville County in 1753 and the appearance of William Reaves in the records of Old Dobbs County can be placed around 1758 based upon the extant deed indexes of Old Dobbs. These recent DNA results may indicate that at least some of the Reeves' individuals found in Old Dobbs and later in Wayne County were descendants of William Reeves, Jr.


1 THE SOURCE - A GUIDE BOOK OF AMERICAN GENEALOGY, Edited by Arlene Eakle & Johni Cerny (Revised Edition 1997), Pg209: the age requirement to witness a deed was age 14 for a male, 12 for a female.
Granville County, North Carolina 1751 Will of William Reeves, Sr.
Chowan County 1718 Will of Charles Merritt, Jr.
Deed Records of Edgecombe County NC